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A book by Nancy Holder

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A very cool vampire apocalypse world is essentially wasted on a lethargic plot and an overabundance of flat characters.

  • Nov 29, 2010
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

CRUSADE takes us into a very believable apocalyptic world and paints a vivid possible future wherein vampires have stepped out of the shadows under the guise of friendship, lulled us into complacency, and when we were at our most vulnerable, they revealed their true nature.

Jenn was thirteen when the slaughter began. She was helpless to watch as her friends and family soon began spouting vampire propaganda and making excuses for freedoms they were forced to give-up. The vampires still maintained a show of friendship with humanity that is very reminiscent of Big Brother's control in Orwell's 1984. Those who spoke out against the vampires had accidents or simply disappeared.

The story begins with Jenn, now seventeen, and her team hunting a group of vampires in a little town in Spain. A lot of characters are introduced in a very short period of time and unfortunately none of them ever distinguished themselves clearly enough for me to care about them. There's a witch, a werewolf, a sympathetic vampire, a superhuman, and then Jenn. Jenn feels like the weak member of her team because she has no special skills or abilities and I have to agree with her.

The promised romance from the description is about as dull as I can remember reading in a long time. Neither Jenn or Antonio ever showed me why they were in love. We were just told from the first chapter that they were. They repeated that they love each other throughout CRUSADE, but it felt pretty hollow.

The story jumps from multiple POVs and time periods all building up to the final showdown with a particularly nasty vampire, but by then the appeal of this world had been overshadowed and I had long since stopped caring. I think I could have gotten more on board with CRUSADE if the story had started when Jenn first arrived at Sacred Heart Academy. We would have gotten to see her learn all her fierce vampire slaying skills, meet her eventual hunter teammates, and most importantly, see how she and Antonio fell in love. That could have been an interesting story. Instead, this very cool vampire apocalypse world is essentially wasted on a lethargic plot and an overabundance of flat characters.

Sexual Content: Kissing

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review by . December 21, 2010
Vampires, battles, romance, secrets and so much more.     Jenn Leitner, despite her own self-doubts, would make Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The Complete First Season (Slim Set)) proud. She's a self-described average girl, who works hard to keep up with her fellow hunters. But she's smart and a quick thinker, which helps her survive. The varying relationships between Jenn and her fellow hunters were intriguing and amusing. With a third-person narration, Crusade lets the …
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Abigail ()
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I am a 20-something book lover with an obsession for all things urban fantasy. I cut my teeth on the paranormal genre withBuffyandTwilightbefore discoveringPatricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews. Suffice … more
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About this book


Holder and Viguié (authors of the Wicked series) begin another saga, this one following a small, determined band of vampire hunters as they battle the Cursed Ones, vampires who are swiftly assuming worldwide political power. Following the trend of the many vampire and werewolf novels and television series, this opening volume sets the stage for a prolonged fight, with many scene changes (from Spain to Berkeley to New Orleans) and different narrators, though the focus of the story is Jenn Leitner, recent graduate of Spain’s Salamanca Academy for vampire hunters. Jenn’s teammates include her boyfriend, Antonio (himself a vampire), Holgar the werewolf, an English white witch, a testy Irish Catholic, their Japanese Buddhist team leader, and their mysterious priest-teacher, who’s clearly hiding many secrets himself. It’s all about the lightning-swift action—don’t look for character development or subtlety—as our characters attempt to contain the power of vampire leader Aurora, who has kidnapped Jenn’s beloved little sister. Expect Wicked, Twilight, and True Blood fans to gulp down this massive tome and grab for the sequel. Grades 7-11. --Debbie Carton
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ISBN-10: 1416998020
ISBN-13: 978-1416998020
Author: Nancy Holder
Publisher: Simon Pulse

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